Thursday, October 28, 2010

Florence, touring

Usually when we travel, we spend most of our time in small towns and in the countryside. When we were in the UK a few years ago, we spent a week 60 miles from London but only saw the airport. With a group, though, we go where the group goes.

So we're in Florence now. Beautiful city. Old. Famous paintings and sculpture and architecture. Gorgeous shop windows and interesting, tiny restaurants.

But also noisy, with motorscooters and buses and pickpockets.

Yesterday we walked with the group. With the day's theme "Florence in the Middle Ages", we visited San Miniato, a Romanesque church that stands atop one of the highest points in Florence on the south side of the River Arno. Quite a climb! We walked back down through the Piazzale Michelangelo, with its panoramic views of the city, crossed the Ponte Vecchio, and strolled through the city to the Piazza Santa Croce, where we had a guided tour of the church where we saw the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and assorted other famous souls.

I think I might be all cathedraled out!

Last night we had dinner "on our own", and we chose a little Chinese place next door to the hotel. Not exactly like our familiar place in Washington State, but good enough. And we don't gather with the group in the morning until 10:30, so we'll have plenty of time to sleep.

I love Italy and am glad for the city opportunity. But so far, my heart is still out there in the countryside of Umbria.
Just outside the walls of Florence


DJan said...

It's a beautiful country, Linda But as you point out, the countryside is so much more appealing than the cities, anywhere at all. Your pictures are wonderful and I'm glad you are continuing to find internet access so you can post these!

Teresa Evangeline said...

Oh, I'm with you, I'd prefer the country side, by far. I've never been to Italy, the art and architecture would be wonderful, but I'd like to be near a small village and experience that life. It's clear I'd have to get in better shape for all that hill-climbing!

Nancy said...

I really want to visit Florence, but now I'm thinking the countryside is more to our liking. We tend to avoid crowds, even where we live.

Linda Reeder said...

On our travels in Europe, we always spent time in the major cities, because that is where you find the cathedrals and museums and so much history. But we, too, love the countryside and the small villages best. We always felt we needed to go back out in the countryside to recover from the cities.